Analog, The Sequel: An Analysis Of Current Film Archiving Practice And Hesitance To Embrace Digital Preservation

Film archives preserve materials of significant cultural heritage. While current practice helps ensure 35mm film will last for at least one hundred years, digital technology is creating new challenges for the traditional means of preservation. Digitally produced films can be preserved via film stock; however, digital ancillary materials and assets in many cases cannot be preserved using traditional analog means. Strategy and action for preserving this content needs to be addressed before further content is lost. To understand the current perspective of the film archives, especially in regards to the film industry’s marked hesitation to embrace digital reservation, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ paper “The Digital Dilemma: Strategic Issues in Archiving and Accessing Digital Motion Picture Materials” was closely evaluated. To supplement this analysis, an interview was conducted with the collections curator at the Academy Film Archive, who explained the archives’ current approach to curation and its hesitation to move to digital technologies for preservation.